What’s The Online Church Trend?

Online churches and ministries are a growing phenomenon in today’s Society. No longer do we have to travel across the world, across town, or even across the street to hear a great sermon. I must confess, that I have missed church services on Sundays, on a few occasions, because I knew that at 12 noon, I would be able to listen to my pastor’s message in the comfort of my own home, without the distraction of people around me. But therein lies the problem, or potential problem, some Pastors, Christians or lay ministers and Churches maybe anticipating. Some Pastor’s and Christians are reluctant to encourage their parishioners to access web ministries for fear of missing bodies on Sunday mornings.  Fewer people are attending church services, as it is, for various reasons. The reasons vary in nature, but quite often, it adds up to distractions and excuses. Ministries are already competing with the aforementioned, so having to address a new distraction can be daunting. Churches and ministries may feel the pressure to perform, or run the risk of losing valuable members. People have options, and they are using them. These choices now include staying home and still hearing the Word. Ministry Concerns There is however some legitimacy to Ministry leaders’ concerns. The church is a living organism that thrives from its moving parts-loving, encouraging, serving. How will the church survive if everyone is watching church services from a distance? Who will take care of the children in the nursery, the youths in the teen services, as well as the young adults in the college outreach ministry? What about the food program for the poor and the Monday night elderly social? The biggest and probably the most pertinent question is, who will finance, through tithes and offerings, the work and ministries of the church? Churches in the United States are closing at a rapid pace, so how will they survive this new onslaught of online churches and ministries. Good News The good news is online churches maybe a “saving grace.” While there maybe numerous pitfalls from the above indicated issues raised, as well as the possibility of an increased number of snake oil sales men attempting to wrap themselves in Bible pages, all is not lost. Having an online ministry can be an asset rather than a liability. -Online services can give your ministry needed exposure for survival – Online services can help small, not so financially equipped, ministries fulfill the “Great Commission” -Online services can bring in the needed finances to keep ministries afloat – Online services gives you a more diverse and larger audience -Online services can serve as a source of encouragement to your members who may be sick and or shut-ins -Online services can help parishioners on vacation stay in touch or up to date on what’s going on at church   -Online services can be a way for parishioners, who may have to work, to not miss Sunday services and weekly Bible study    -Online services can […]

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Prayer

Prayer: What is it, and why are we ought not to be afraid I was listening to a preacher earlier today talking about how many people in the church do not know how to pray, and I was taken back a bit. What did she mean? Is prayer as complicated as some Preachers and Theologians make it out to be? As I began to ponder this question, the lowly Publican came to mind. I am not speaking of the Republican, as in current party affiliation, but the Publican, as in Luke 18:13 (King James Version) “And the publican, (some translation, tax collector), standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” I am not sure how the preacher came to her conclusion, but we all could benefit from going back to the basics on talking to God (praying). Prayer is communication between God the Father and His children (us). While our Lord provided a guideline, (the Lord’s Prayer), on how to pray, prayer is personal. It is an intimate communication between the believer and his or her Father. It is not posturing for fellow believers. The goal is not to have others look at us in awe, but rather to look to God who is able to meet our every need, as well as the need of a lost and dying world. Therefore, Jesus asked us not to pray using “vain repetition” (Matthew 6:7). Vain repetition is quite often a reflection of the heart. It reflects how we see God, and what role He plays in our world and our lives. If we have a loving Father who we believe cares for us, we will approach him with reference (respect), while (being grateful) thankful for who He is and what He has done and will continue to do for us. This is not difficult to do, if our hearts are submitted and vulnerable before a God who is able to make and mold us into His image and bring us in line with His will for our lives.   Without becoming too philosophical, the prayer of the publican is a very profound one. If you noticed, this individual very aware of who and what he was. He was probably despised by many in society, due in part because of his occupation (see Luke 18:11). He was fully aware of his desperate situation, both from the world around him, as well as his desperation before God. He was not delusional about how he was viewed by others, but most importantly how God viewed him. He was aware of who he was and God’s ability to cleanse him from his sins. Based on his actions, he was grateful for the opportunity to approach an awesome, Supreme God who loved him, despite himself and others. The Publican did a few things we can all learn from. They are as follows: 1)      He was repentant and […]

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When Did The Law Cease And Grace Begin-Sermon Online Notes

When did the Law cease and Grace begin? What are some of the Laws that were removed? Free will offering replace tithing Living by faith replace Circumcision and all elements of the Law Heb 7:4-6 [NKJVl The King of Righteousness 4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. 5 And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; 6but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. What was wrong with the Law? Heb 7:19[NKJV] The made nothing perfect For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. Mankind needed a mediator Heb 9: 19[NKJV]The Mediator’s Death Necessary 16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded” you. 21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. What did the Law represent? Heb 10:1-4[NKJVl Animal Sacrifices Insufficient 10 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come,and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Christ’s Death Fulfills God’s Will 5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:    “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come- In the volume of the book it is written of Me- To do Your will, 0 God. ‘ “ 8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire. nor had pleasure […]

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Old Testament Marriage Customs-Online Sermon Notes

The Old Testament marriage customs are very interesting as it transition from Old Testament to New Testament. It is one that is worth studying. It will help everyone to understand the foundation of Christina marriages.   Subject: Marriage Customs In Old Testament Bible Study Teachings These questions I believe will be answer in this lesson. What were some of the customs for marriage in the OT? What was the average age of couples who got married in the OT? What was legislation under the Mosaic Law? How was the bride chosen? What was a levirate marriage? What did it mean when a woman was betrothal?   OT MARRIAGE Customs – the union of a man and a woman as husband and wife, which becomes the foundation for a home and family. Origin of Marriage. Marriage was instituted by God when He declared, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Gen. 2:18). So God fashioned a woman and brought her to the man. On seeing the woman, Adam exclaimed, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Gen. 2:23). This passage also emphasizes the truth that “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become [[[[[ one flesh”]]]]] (Gen. 2:24). This suggests that God’s ideal is for a man to be the husband of one wife and for the marriage to be permanent. Legislation. God’s desire for His people was that they marry within the body of believers. The Mosaic Law clearly stated that an Israelite was never to marry a foreigner. The Israelite would be constantly tempted to embrace the spouse’s god as well (Ex. 34:10-17; Deut. 7:3-4). Likewise, the apostle Paul commanded the members of the church at Corinth, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Cor. 6:14). Marriages between Israelites were directed by law, and all incestuous relationships were outlawed **(Lev. 18:6-8; 20:19-21)***. In addition, priests were forbidden to marry prostitutes and divorced women (Lev. 21:7, 13-14). Daughters who inherited their father’s possessions had to marry within their tribe or lose their inheritance (Num. 27:8; 36:2-4). Choosing the Bride. In Old Testament times, the parents chose the mate for their son. The primary reason for this was that the bride became part of the clan. Although they were married and became “one flesh,” the couple remained under the authority of the bridegroom’s father. The parents chose someone who would best fit into their clan and work harmoniously with her mother-in-law and sisters-in-law. Sometimes the parents consulted with their children to see if they approved of the choice of mates being made for them. For example, Rebekah was asked if she wanted to marry Isaac (Gen. 24:57-58).Samson demanded that a certain girl be acquired for him. Although his parents protested, they completed the marriage contract for Samson (Judg. 14: 1-4). Frequently […]

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